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Audiology Department - Townsville Hospital and Health Service

About Us

Audiology Department at the Townsville Hospital provides comprehensive diagnostic audiology services for infants, children and adults throughout Townsville Hospital and Health Service and neighbouring Hospital Health Services (Mt Isa, Mackay, Cairns & Hinterland, Torres & Cape).

The staff at the Audiology department work with multidisciplinary teams and specialise in the hearing assessment of infants and complex patients as well as adults with hearing and balance problems.

Following assessment of infants and children, referrals are made to the relevant organisations for management and rehabilitation.

Who is seen at the Audiology Department

  • Adults with hearing and balance problems
  • Babies referred from the Healthy Hearing neonatal hearing screening program. Babies can be tested as early as when they are one day old.
  • Babies who are at risk of developing hearing loss
  • Both Inpatients and Outpatients
  • Children and adults for assessment for cochlear implant candidacy
  • Children and adults for mapping of cochlear implant
  • Children or adults with physical and/or intellectual disability
  • Children or adults with tinnitus
  • Children with multiple problems and complex presentations
  • Children with speech and language delays or difficulties, learning difficulties, frequent middle ear problems
  • Where there is personal, parental or professional concern regarding hearing

How is the hearing tested?

Choice of hearing tests depends upon the age, condition and ability of the patient. The Audiology department provides following range of diagnostic audiology assessments

  • Auditory Brainstem Response Evaluation
  • Cortical evoked potential
  • Electrocochleography
  • Otoacoustic Emissions
  • Pure tone Audiometry
  • Speech reception and speech discrimination testing
  • Steady State Evoked Potential Evaluation
  • Tympanometry and acoustic reflex testing
  • Vestibular assessment such as VEMP and vHIT
  • Visual reinforcement Audiometry
  • Wideband Tympanometry

What are the specialist clinics conducted?

The Department conducts the following specialist clinics on a regular basis.

  • Childhood Hearing Impairment Clinic (CHIC) (multidisciplinary clinic)
  • Electrocochleography (ECOG)
  • Electrophysiological assessments (ABR, SSEP, HearLab, cortical evoked potential)
  • Infant assessment
  • North Queensland Cochlear Implant (NQCI) clinic (multidisciplinary clinic)
  • Tele-audiology
  • Vestibular assessment (VEMP, vHIT)

Where is the department located?

Audiology department is located at the Outpatient Clinics on Level 2 at the Townsville Hospital.

What is the referral procedure?

A Medical referral to the Audiology Department is required for both inpatient and outpatient assessment. The referral can be requested by the GP, or specialists like ENT, Paediatrician, Neurologist etc. 

The referral can be 

(i)  faxed to the Audiology Department on +61 7 4433 2810 or 

(ii) emailed to Townsville Audiology.  

(iii) Audiology Assistant can be contacted on +61 7 4433 2762 for enquiries regarding appointments. We also conduct clinics in conjunction with ENT clinics.

Is there a waiting list

There can be some waiting for new referrals. However, we do prioritise infants, inpatients, and patients with sudden hearing loss.

Is there cost involved in the assessment ?

There is no cost involved for the assessment. Service is provided free of charge for all the patients seen at the department.

Contact

 Location Surgical Clinics, Second Floor, The Townsville Hospital
100 Angus Smith Drive, Douglas QLD 4814
 Postal Address  Department of Audiology, IMB 79,
 The Townsville Hospital, PO Box 670,  Townsville QLD 4810
 Phone  + 61 7 4433 2762
 Fax  + 61 7 4433 2810
 Email Townsville Hospital Audiology Department

Staff

Clinical Director and Consultant Audiologist Venkatesh Aithal, MSc, MPH, PhD, MAudSA(CC)  + 61 7  4433 2765
Consultant Paediatric Audiologist and Cochlear Implant Program Manager Sreedevi Aithal, MSc, MPH, PhD, MAudSA(CC)  + 61 7 4433 2763
Senior Audiologist, CHIC clinic Joshua Myers, MAudSt (CC)  + 61 7 4433 2762
 Audiologist Alhandrea Manual, MAudSt (CC) 
 Audiology Assistant  Karen Nielsen  + 61 7 4433 2762

Hours of service

8.00am-4.30pm Monday to Friday

Go to Toptop of page

Research projects conducted at the Audiology department

The research projects conducted at the department in collaboration with Hearing Research Unit for Children, School of Health and Rehabilitation Services, University of Queensland are

  1. Evaluation of wideband absorbance funded by New Technology Funding and Evaluation Program (NTFEP),Clinical access and redesign Unit, Department of Health (2015-17).
  2. Identification of middle ear dysfunction in infants funded by Healthy Hearing program (Department of Health)
  3. Innovative diagnosis for and prevention of otitis media in Australian infants funded by NHMRC (UQ) (2012-17).
  4. Tele-audiology project – closing the gap funded by innovation grant, Townsville Hospital and Health Service (2017).

Completed projects:

  1. Evaluate the application of Wideband middle ear impedance measurements in assessment of middle ear pathology in infants funded by Health Practitioner Research Scheme, Department of Health (2012).
  2. Sweep frequency impedance measurements in infants funded by Health Practitioner Research Scheme, Department of Health (2010).
  3. Developmental of clinical norms for 1000 Hz tympanometry in infants in diagnosing middle ear pathologies by Private Practice Trust fund (2009).
  4. Development of clinical norms for emerging electrophysiological tests in diagnosing hearing loss in infants and children funded by Health Practitioner Research Scheme, Department of Health (2008).
  5. Clinical evaluation of cochlear scan for screening hearing loss and middle-ear diseases in preschool children funded by Private Practice Study, Research and Education Trust Fund (2007).
  6. Screening and diagnostic test evaluation program (STEP): Exploring the test performance of automatic screening tympanometry test funded by Allied Health Research scheme (2007).
  7. Development of clinical norms for behavioural and neurophysiological assessment in children with history of long lasting conductive hearing loss due to otitis media funded by Private Practice Study, Research and Education Trust Fund (2006).

Publications out of the project

  1. Aithal V, Kei J, Driscoll C,  Murakoshi M and Wada H. 2017. Predictive accuracy of sweep frequency impedance technology in identifying conductive conditions in newborns. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology https://doi.org/10.3766/jaaa.16077
  2. Aithal S, Aithal V, and Kei J. 2017. Effect of ear canal pressure and age on wideband absorbance in young infants. International Journal of Audiology 56:346-355. https://doi.org/10.1080/14992027.2017.1284352
  3. Aithal S, Kei J, Aithal V,  Alehandrea M, and Myers J. 2017. Normative study of wideband acoustic immittance measures in newborn infants. Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research. 60(5):1417-1426.   https://doi.org/10.1044/2016_JSLHR-H-16-0237
  4. Aithal V, Kei J, Driscoll C,  Murakoshi M and Wada H. 2016. Sweep frequency impedance measures in young infants: developmental characteristics from birth to 6 months. International Journal of Audiology, 56, 154-163. https://doi.org/10.1080/14992027.2016.1244867
  5. Aithal V, Kei J, Driscoll C,  Murakoshi M and Wada H. 2016. Effects of ear canal static pressure on the dynamic behaviour of outer and middle ear in newborns. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, 82, 64-72.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijporl.2015.12.006
  6. Aithal V, Kei J, Driscoll C, Swanston A,  Murakoshi M and Wada H. 2015. Sweep frequency impedance measures in Australian Aboriginal and Caucasian neonates. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, 79, 1024-1029.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijporl.2015.04.017
  7. Aithal V, Kei J, Driscoll C, Swanston A, Roberts, K, Murakoshi M and Wada H. 2014. Normative sweep frequency impedance measures in healthy neonates. Journal of American Academy of Audiology, 25 (4), 343-354. https://doi.org/10.3766/jaaa.25.4.6.
  8. Aithal, S., Kei, J., Driscoll, C. Khan, A., Swanston, A. (2015). A comparison with high frequency tympanometry, automated brainstem response and transient evoked and distortion product otoacoustic emissions. Ear and Hearing, 36, 237-250.
  9. Aithal, S., Kei, J., Driscoll, C. 2014. Wideband absorbance in young infants (0-6 months): A cross-sectional study. Journal of  American  Academy of Audiology. 25, 471-481.
  10. Aithal, S., Kei, J., Driscoll, C. 2014. Wideband absorbance in Australian Aboriginal and Caucasian neonates. Journal of  American  Academy of Audiology. 25, 482-494.
  11. Aithal, S., Kei, J, Driscoll, C., et al. (2013). Normative wideband reflectance measures in healthy neonates. International Journal of Paediatric Otorhinolaryngology. 77, 29-35.
  12. Aithal, S., Aithal, V., Kei, J., Driscoll, C. 2012. Conductive hearing loss and middle ear pathology in young infants referred through a newborn universal hearing screening program in Australia. Journal of  American  Academy of Audiology. 23, 1-13. https://doi.org/10.3766/jaaa.23.9.2
  13. Aithal S, Yonovitz, A and Aithal, V. 2008. Perceputal consequences of conductive hearing loss: Speech perception in Indigenous students learning English as a ‘School’ language. Australian New Zealand Journal of Audiology. 30(1), 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1375/audi.30.1.1
  14. Yonovitz A, Aithal S, Aithal, V and Dold, N. 2006. Binaural speech discrimination in noise with bone conduction: Applications for hearing loss in high risk populations. Australian and New   Zealand Journal of Audiology, 28(1), 18-30. https://doi.org/10.1375/audi.28.1.18
  15. Aithal, V., Yonovitz, A., Aithal, S. and Dold, N. 2006. Tonal masking level differences in children. Australian and New Zealand J of Audiology, 30, 1-18.https://doi.org/10.1375/audi.28.1.11
  16. Aithal, V., Yonovitz A and Aithal S. 2006. Tonal masking level differences in Aboriginal  children: Implications for binaural interaction, auditory processing disorders and education. Australian and New Zealand J of Audiology.  28(1), 31-40.https://doi.org/10.1375/audi.28.1.31
  17. Yonovitz A, Aithal S, Aithal V and Dold N. 2006. Binaural speech discrimination in noise with bone conduction: Applications for hearing loss in high risk populations. Australian and New Zealand J of Audiology, 26, 18-30. https://doi.org/10.1375/audi.28.1.18


Last updated: 22 November 2017